Interviews & Opinion

Whimsical Wolff Games on following your development dreams

Whimsical Wolff Games on following your development dreams

The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of Pocket Gamer and PC Games Insider. It sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-styled pitching competition for fame and those sweet, sweet promotional packages.

The event gives indies five minutes to pitch their games to a panel of press, publishers and industry pundits. The judges then pick three winners and everybody gets valuable feedback.

The indie view

The Big Indie Pitch is getting bigger and bigger as we bring it to events all across the world. To give you an idea of what the event is like, who attends the events and the games on show, we've sat down with several past Big Indie Pitch contestants to offer their views.

Today, we're speaking to WolKa from Whimsical Wolff Games, who submitted Kohlrabi Starship to The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2024 and walked away as the winner.

All the pitching madness

Sophia Aubrey Drake: Tell us a little about yourself and your indie studio - who is on the team, and what are their inspirations?

WolKaAfter working as a research scientist in Big Tech, I decided to follow my dream of developing my own video game. I founded Whimsical Wolff Games, a one-woman indie studio with a focus on cosy games in 2023 based in beautiful Switzerland.

Kohlrabi Starship, a farming game with space travel, is the first game of the studio. While I take on many hats, including as an artist and programmer, for the music score of Kohlrabi Starship I teamed up with my brother, who is a composer and founder of the RXON music studio in Berlin.

I’m deeply inspired by the joy of creation and my passion for game development. I love the farming genre in particular because it combines elements of building, relaxation, and creativity. In my childhood, I spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm and playing classic farming games like Harvest Moon and later Stardew Valley, and I hope to capture the same feeling of peace and fulfilment in Kohlrabi Starship.

Tell us about Kohlrabi Starship that you pitched at the competition.

Kohlrabi Starship is a cosy farming game with space travel. In this 2D hand-drawn game, you inherit your grandmother’s greenhouse starship - an arch for almost extinct flora and fauna. You can bring new plants onboard, make friends with animals, fall in love and marry one of the many charming characters, explore the galaxy, and slowly turn your desert home planet into a thriving ecosystem.

After working as a research scientist in Big Tech, I decided to follow my dream of developing my own video game.

What do you think are the most unique and interesting aspects of Kohlrabi Starship that gamers may never have seen before?

In Kohlrabi Starship plants, soil quality, animals, and the planet’s climate are all interconnected. Therefore, instead of tending to individual plants, the player can create self-sustaining ecosystems and terraform planets. Space technologies like forward time travel let you watch biomes quickly spread across the planet and fast forward through time.

The player can also tame, name, pet, and breed a multitude of pets and animals. If you ever wanted to have a green cat with pink paws, now you can.  But of course, the game will also feature old beloved mechanics like romance, spaceship customization, cooking, and more!

What made you choose to make this type of game, and what do you think you bring that may not have been seen before?

Kohlrabi Starship has a unique combination of the farming and space travel genres. First and foremost I chose to make this type of game out of my love for these genres and games like Stardew Valley and Kerbal Space Program. But my own experiences also played a role.

Spending summers on my grandparents' farm gave me a firsthand appreciation of farming life, while my former work as a research scientist has equipped me with a deep understanding of scientific principles and innovation. This combination allows me to create a fun and authentic game that seamlessly combines traditional farming elements with futuristic space exploration. 

How did you come to choose the platforms that you would develop Kohlrabi Starship for?

I want to bring Kohlrabi Starship to PC, Mac, Linux, the Steam Deck and the Switch. By comparing to other titles that have been released, I think these platforms are the best fit.

My number one advice would be to connect with like-minded people.

Looking at the studio a little more now. How hard is it to survive as an Indie developer?

In general, it is not easy to survive as a new Indie developer and it is a risky undertaking, especially when just starting out with a larger project like Kohlrabi Starship. I am in the lucky position that I can use savings to self-fund the initial stages of development until I can find a publisher. Being a small one-person studio helps with that. One has to be comfortable with the uncertainty and risk involved.

I am very grateful to SwissGames who supported me and other Swiss Indie studios to attend Pocket Gamer Connect and GDC. Without them, I would not have been able to participate in the Very Big Indie Pitch.

Are there any tips and advice you would give to independent developers out there who are just starting out?

My number one advice would be to connect with like-minded people. Reaching out to the local game dev community, joining a co-working space, testing together, finding mentors and learning from other game developers’ experiences have been invaluable. This is even more important when coming from a different field: There is only so much one can learn from YouTube tutorials. A lot of opportunities I would have never known about if I didn’t connect with other Indie devs.

How did you find your experience pitching as a part of the Big Indie Pitch?

It was my first ever game dev conference and my first time pitching to publishers. I was nervous, but also very excited to get this amazing opportunity. Everyone was super friendly and the feedback I got was really helpful. 

What do you feel you have gained from the experience, and what do you still hope to gain?

I believe that when working mostly alone on a game, it is immensely important to get an outside perspective. Therefore I am so thrilled to have won the Very Big Indie Pitch. It definitely gave me new motivation and determination and confirmation that I am on the right development path. I am also very thankful for the connections with publishers I made. I hope that the experience will help me find a publisher for Kohlrabi Starship in the coming months.

What are your hopes for this game in the future, and do you have any plans for any future projects?

I want to make Kohlrabi Starship the best game I can, and I hope it will bring fun and enjoyment to many people! My focus is solely on the development of Kohlrabi Starship at the moment, therefore I cannot share any future plans right now. However, I hope that with a successful release of the game, the studio can work on more games in the future.

Want to show off your exciting new game? We host Big Indie Pitch events throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye out on our events page for an event near you, or even our new Digital pitches.

All our upcoming pitches including how to enter can be found over on our upcoming events page on

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Developer Evangelist & Big Indie Pitch Manager / Special Features Writer

Queen of all things Indie. Sophia is Steel Media’s Big Indie Pitch Manager and Developer Evangelist. She’s also a global speaker and lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that she’s written a thesis on one and lived in the other.